While it is usually amusing to watch Doris Wrench Eisler (Gazette, March 7) spout off about Catholicism – inasmuch as it is amusing to see any ignorant person spout off with grave certainty all the things they believe in their ignorance – her latest letter was perhaps a tad too over the top to be enjoyable. Indeed, it crossed the line into calumny; it was offensive through and through.
Is the church “in the business of ‘forgiving’ sin”? Hardly! If the church is a business at all, its business is salvation. And yes, one aspect of salvation is to turn from sin and be forgiven, but to say that that’s the entirety of the business model is a bit like saying Tim Hortons is in the business of handing out napkins.
Eisler’s summary of the Catholic viewpoint as being “that because women bear children, it follows that they should bear as many as possible or, avoid sex, even in marriage” is likewise incorrect. And while it would be impossible to summarize Theology of the Body in a mere 500 words here, suffice it to say that the Catholic view of sex is not nearly so dismal or discouraging. That may be how it is portrayed in popular culture, but pop culture is not without its biases.
At least Eisler’s conclusion – “if there is one thing I am absolutely sure of it is that God, if such exists, is not fixated on the sexual proclivities of consenting adults” – is interesting. And in a way, it’s not incorrect.
What is the nature of God? Love, first and foremost. And love, properly understood, is to will the good of the other. God, better than we ever could, understands what is to our good, and gently calls us toward that. Yes, this call encompasses our sexuality, but is not exclusively focused thereupon. And inasmuch as Christian morality is concerned with sexuality, it is so concerned not out of a desire to control or subjugate, but to guide each of us toward the good, and indeed toward that highest good … salvation.
Still, as Eisler states, when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And when your philosophy is steeped in the rhetoric of power and oppression found on the far left, everything – even love – looks like someone exercising undue control.
Kenneth Kully, St. Albert